Problem is, I find politics to be so distasteful. The whole "talking out of both sides of your mouth" kinda thing. And there's the requirement that you have to contradict yourself because political circumstances change, forcing you to knowingly make a fool out of yourself. "I was for it before I was against it," and all that.
And there is no such thing as loyalty, to a friend or to a position, in politics. Especially on the Democrat side. Remember all those close dear friends Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman had before he uncharacteristically stuck to his convictions and supported the war in Iraq? They turned on him in a heartbeat. And they're now slinking back seeking his good graces, after he whipped their champion-of-the-moment, Ned Lamont.
Which brings me to Southwest Distress. This is a weblog, like many here in the commonwealth that carry water for the blogger's party of choice (there are many others that cheerlead for a particular candidate), that supports Democrat causes. And that's fine. And a good thing.
In order to be the good party man* though, one sometimes has to twist oneself in knots. As has Southwest Distress, I sadly report.
In a post dated May 19, SD starts out with an excellent analysis of the voting patterns - and their implications - from the 2005 District 6 House of Delegates vote - the race between then-incumbent Benny Keister (D-Pulaski) and challenger Anne B. Crockett-Stark (R-Wytheville). Good enough to reproduce, in part:
Why is this race, in the heart of conservative SWVA, still so competitive?Good stuff. And accurate.
Simple. The two largest localities in terms of registered voter numbers, Pulaski and Giles County, have leaned towards Democrats the last few cycles. Pulaski County, with some 38% of the district's vote, went for Benny Keister 55%/45% in the last election. Giles County, with 21.5% of the district's vote, went 53%/47% in favor of Keister. Annie B. managed to triumph however, by pulling down better than 60% of the vote in the remaining three localities: Bland, Tazewell, and her native Wythe County.
That's the aboveboard part. But then Southwest Distress has to revert to politics mode. And he* disappoints, with this:
This year, the roles have been reversed, with Annie B fighting as an incumbent and defending a record of... inactivity in the General Assembly. Will Judge Thomas take Annie to task on her lackluster efforts in Richmond? [ellipsis in the original]Inactivity. Lackluster efforts. My. My. My.
Why is this particularly disappointing?
Because not long ago, this same blogger was calling Annie B (the "inactive" Annie B) a fighter serving her constituents "very well." On Sept. 26, he wrote:
Well, Delegate Crockett-Stark is serving Pulaski County very well and for that, at least, I'm grateful. Ideological leanings aside, it's nice to have her fighting for so many infrastructure improvements.So we have an inactive ... fighter. John Kerry must have conducted a training seminar on political discourse here in Southwest Virginia, and Southwest Distress took careful notes.
What's changed in recent months? It's election season. So political persons go into political mode. And candor goes out the window. As does one's integrity. And that person ties himself into knots in order to be the good party man.
Everyone knows what I think of Anne B. Crockett-Stark's performance in the House. Her actions in the epic transportation budget battle that stretched over the better part of a year and pitted our freshman delegate - Annie B - against the most powerful array of political, academic, and print journalism foes ever assembled in the commonwealth were magnificent. A greater victory, after endless hours of hard work and fights well fought, we've never seen in this part of the state.
My attitude will not change because of the season. Which makes me a lousy politician, I know.
But at least I sleep well at night.
* For the sake of accuracy, I don't know if SD is male or female.